The First Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health: Implications and Recommendations for the 21st century

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The First Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health was convened at the 2007 World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress to vision practice in the 21st century and, in turn, entry-level education and research, as informed by epidemiological indicators, and consistent with evidence-based noninvasive interventions, the hallmark of physical therapy. The Summit and its findings were informed by WHO data and validated through national databases of the countries of the five WCPT regions. The health priorities based on mortality were examined in relation to proportions of physical therapists practicing in the areas of regional priorities and of the curricula in entry-level programs. As a validation check and to contextualize the findings, input from members of the 800 Summit participants was integrated and international consultants refined the recommendations. Lifestyle-related conditions (ischemic heart disease, smoking-related conditions, hypertension, stroke, cancer, and diabetes) were leading causes of premature death across regions. Contemporary definitions of physical therapy support that the profession has a leading role in preventing, reversing, as well as managing lifestyle-related conditions. The proportions of practitioners practicing primarily in these priority areas and of the entry-level curricula based on these priorities were low. The proportions of practitioners in priority areas and entry-level curricula devoted to lifestyle-related conditions warrant being better aligned with the prevalence of these conditions across regions in the 21st century. A focus on clinical competencies associated with effective health education and health behavior change formulates the basis for The Second Physical Therapy Summit on Global Health. © Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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